|Publication number||US7601069 B2|
|Application number||US 11/582,229|
|Publication date||Oct 13, 2009|
|Priority date||Oct 17, 2006|
|Also published as||US20080090668|
|Publication number||11582229, 582229, US 7601069 B2, US 7601069B2, US-B2-7601069, US7601069 B2, US7601069B2|
|Original Assignee||Christopher Freres|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (41), Referenced by (5), Classifications (10), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to frames formed from interlocking panels, and, more particularly, to a sandbox formed from interlocking panels.
2. Description of the Background of the Invention
Various patents disclose sandboxes and/or interlocking panels.
Pledge U.S. Pat. No. 5,205,791 discloses a collapsible sheet having a drawstring and peripheral vertical wall portions. The sheet forms a sandbox in an uncollapsed state.
Strickland U.S. Pat. No. 5,928,086 discloses a sandbox that may be adjusted to different heights.
Munro et al. U.S. Pat. No. 6,331,147 discloses a sandbox having a cover. The sandbox includes vertical posts, and the cover may be mounted on the posts in spaced relation to the sandbox such that the cover may optionally form a roof.
Weeks U.S. Pat. No. 5,423,463 and Brand U.S. Pat. No. 6,174,116 disclose interlocking divider panels, which divide a cargo space into desired size compartments. The panels have opposed slots that interlock.
Reisman U.S. Pat. No. 5,292,197 discloses cardboard interlocking filler panels wherein the panels have opposed slots. The interlocked cardboard panels may be used to stuff a backpack, purse, or other similar item for display purposes.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, panels for assembling a sandbox frame include an elongate A panel and an elongate B panel. Each panel has an end portion terminating in an end edge. The end edge is oriented transverse to the length dimension of the panel. A first cord receiving notch is disposed in the A panel end edge. A second cord receiving notch is disposed in the B panel end edge. A first elongate A slot is located proximate the A panel end portion and is oriented transverse to the length dimension of the A panel. A second elongate B slot is located proximate the B panel end portion and is oriented transverse to the length dimension of the B panel. A first groove is disposed in the A panel end portion. The first groove is oriented transverse to the A panel length dimension. The groove is recessed from a main surface of the A panel and defined by opposed groove walls wherein one of the groove walls is beveled. When the A and B panels are assembled, the A panel slot interlocks with the B panel slot. The A panel slot captures a B panel wall portion adjacent the B panel slot. The B panel slot captures an A panel wall portion adjacent the A panel slot. The A panel end portion and the B panel end portion intersect.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, an assembled sandbox frame assembled from elongate interlocked slotted panels includes (1) an A1 panel and an A2 panel and a B1 panel and a B2 panel, (2) first and second A1 panel ends and first and second A2 panel ends, (3) first and second B1 panel ends and first and second B2 panel ends wherein each of the A and B panel ends includes a tarp cord receiving notch. A first corner is defined by the first A1 panel end intersecting the first B1 panel end. A second corner is defined by the second A1 panel end intersecting the first B2 panel end. A third corner is defined by the first A2 panel end intersecting the second B1 panel end. A fourth corner is defined by the second A2 panel end intersecting the second B2 panel end. A first A1 slot is disposed proximate the first A1 panel end. The first A1 slot faces a first direction transverse to the long axis of the A1 panel. A first B1 slot is disposed proximate the first B1 panel end. The first B1 slot is interlocked with the first A1 slot. The first B1 slot faces a second direction opposite to the first direction. A first wall portion of the B1 panel is captured within the first A1 slot, and a second wall portion of the A1 panel is captured within the first B1 slot. The first wall portion includes a first groove defined by a first surface recessed from a main B1 panel surface and is disposed between first and second opposed walls. At least the first wall is beveled. The second wall portion includes a second groove defined by a second surface recessed from a main A1 panel surface and disposed between third and fourth opposed walls. At least the third wall is beveled. The first beveled wall is in contact with the third beveled wall. A second A1 slot is interlocked with a first B2 slot of the B2 panel. A first A2 slot is interlocked with a second B2 slot of the B2 panel. A second A2 slot is interlocked with a second B1 slot of the B1 panel.
It should be noted that a fairly rigid and strong interlocking of the A panels with the B panels may be desired. In this regard, when forces are exerted on the A and B panels, excessive wobbling or flexion of one or more the panels relative to other panels may be undesirable. Such wobbling may be minimized by cutting the A and B slots and the grooves 70, 80 to desired sufficiently tight fitting dimensions during manufacture of the panels. Cutting the A and B slots and grooves 70, 80 is believed to be a better method of dimensioning than if one were to use some form of molding/extrusion method to form the A and B slots and the grooves 70, 80. For example, referring to
The A and B slots may be sized slightly larger than thickness T to facilitate panel interlocking. For example, the thickness T may be set at 0.68 inches and the A and B slots at 0.7 inches using a conventional router or other suitable cutting apparatus.
Assembling the sandbox 20 involves (1) interlocking the A and B panels, (2) tightening the frame straps, perhaps with a suitable buckle, (3) placing the liner 90 over the straps, (4) placing sand in the box 20, (5) positioning the seat gusset members 174 into the recesses 182 of the seats 160, (6) fastening the gusset members 174 to the seat members 176 with a tool such as an allen wrench, and (7) placing the seats 160 onto one or more panels. Storing the sandbox 20 involves (1) positioning at least two seats 160 atop the sand 91 with the seat gusset members 174 of each seat facing each other, (2) stretching the tarp 190 over the seats, and (3) securing the tarp cord 58 within the notches 56.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 11A-11C, the coupling apparatus 201 includes a pair of slotted coupling supports 242 a, 242 b and a slotted coupling plate 244. Referring also to
Numerous modifications to the features described and shown are possible. Accordingly, the described and illustrated embodiments are to be construed as merely exemplary of the inventive concepts expressed herein and addressed in the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||472/126, 446/70, 446/106, 446/108|
|International Classification||A63H33/32, A63G31/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A63G31/00, A63H33/32|
|European Classification||A63H33/32, A63G31/00|